THE central message in the open letter by Olusegun Obasanjo, former president, is that the 2019 general elections, more specifically presidential election, will be rigged in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The other issues he raised in the letter were to buttress his belief that Buhari has failed as a president and can only be re-elected by subverting the will of Nigerians through rigging.
But the rigging is not just about Buhari because the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, once a pastor from a respected church, has become co-plotter in the plan to rig the election by sharing N10, 000 to traders, a disguise for vote-buying.
Though not unusual of Obasanjo, his “Point for Concern and Action” open letter that he released on Sunday, summed up his belief that the only way Buhari could stay in Aso Rock beyond May 29 is through rigging of the election.
And Obasanjo strongly believed that Buhari had perfected his rigging plans through the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and meddling with the judiciary. All in all, INEC is already compromised by the ruling party, according to the former president. And he is already privy to how INEC will rig the election for Buhari.
Here is the rigging arrangement, according to Obasanjo: “expect incidences of deliberately contrived, broken or non-working voting machines or card readers, confusion of voters as to their voting stations, inadequate supply of voting materials to designated places, long line to discourage voters and turning blind eyes to favour the blue-eye political party of INEC because the Commission’s hands will be tied to enable hatchet men and women to perform their unwholesome assignment.
“The transmission and collation of results are subject to interference, manipulation and meddling. If the INEC’s favourite political party wins with all the above infractions, the result will be conclusively declared and if not, there will be a ‘rerun’, the result of which is known before it is carried out.”
To justify that he did not make up this rigging plan, Obasanjo quoted what he might have considered as INEC chairman’s Freudian slip.
“The INEC was asked if the Commission was ready for the election and if it expects the election to be free, fair and credible,” Obasanjo wrote. “The INEC man is reported as saying in response, ‘we are ready with everything including the results!’”
He actually insisted that he was not making up this allegation because INEC already tested the rigging pattern during the recent Osun governorship election and would likely repeat the same tactics in the presidential election.
Obasanjo has uncovered other rigging plans and these are how they will be done: “His henchmen are working round the clock in cahoots with security and election officials to perfect their plan by computing results right from the ward to local government, state and national levels to allot him what will look like a landslide victory irrespective of the true situation for a candidate who might have carried out by proxy presidential debate and campaigns.
“The current plan is to drape the pre-determined results with a toga of credibility. It is also planned that violence of unimaginable proportion will be unleashed in high voting population areas across the country to precipitate re-run elections and where he will be returned duly elected after concentration of security officials as it happened in Osun State.”
Buhari is planning to do all these things because he is like Sani Abacha, the infamous dictator who once imprisoned Obasanjo. That is, the president is a lot more like power-drunk and hungry Abacha because “Buhari has intimidated and harassed the private sector, attacked the National Assembly and now unconstitutionally and recklessly attacked and intimidated the Judiciary to cow them to submission.”
However, the most disappointing person for Obasanjo in the Buhari’s evil scheming to erode Nigeria’s democracy is Yemi Osinbajo, a pastor who has become a pawn in Buhari’s desperate power game. He could not process how someone, as enlightened as Osinbajo is, could be sharing N10,000 to traders in the name of empowerment. But then the whole arrangement was part of the massive rigging by Buhari because the traders are asked to provide their permanent voters card number before getting the money.
“What an act by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria lawyer, number 2 man in the Executive hierarchy; and what is more, a pastor of one of the Christian movements led by a revered, respected and upright church leader, Pastor E. A. Adeboye. Osinbajo must have gone for, ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. A great pity indeed and which makes people ask the questions, “Any hope?” Yes, for me, there is hope.”
For Obasanjo, the hope lies in resisting Buhari and his band of election riggers. Not only that Nigerians should stop Buhari in his road to perdition but the international community should help Nigerians to stop desperate Buhari from destroying the country for his greed.
“Such measures can vary from denial and withdrawal of visas from the people concerned and from their families to other more stringent measures including their accounts being frozen and taking them to International Criminal Court, ICC, if violence emanates from their action or inaction.”
He warned that “Nigeria must not be allowed to slip off the democratic path nor go into anarchy and ruin,” because “no individual nor group has monopoly of violence or gangsterism. And we must not forget that in human interaction, reactions are normally greater than action, though opposite.”
For Obasanjo, Buhari is not only dangerous but he has sinned beyond redemption. “It is no use, at this juncture, to keep lamenting about the failure, incompetence, divisiveness, nepotism, encouragement and condonation of corruption by Buhari administration as there is neither redeeming feature nor personality to salvage the situation within that hierarchy,” he said.
Obsanjo wondered by Amina Zakari, Buhari’s relative by marriage, would be assigned to be in charge of INEC’S collation centre, if not that Buhari is hell-bent on destroying Nigeria’s democracy. “Otherwise, it will be difficulty to deny the rumour that she is being assigned to Collation Centre for one duty only – to write out figures that are not results of the voting in the field on fake results sheets without water mark or on genuine results sheets which she will have access to as a Commissioner.”
As Buhari has perfected his rigging agenda, Obasanjo believed that the president needed to clear one more obstacle by weakening the judiciary. That is why Buhari is intimidating the Chief Justice.
“President Buhari and his hatchet men in the coming election think that the judiciary must be primed in their favour. Hence, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, has been harassed and prosecuted for non-declaration of his assets without following the Constitution and the law, just to make him conform or set him aside for a Buhari man to take over or act, as President Buhari and his people believe no stone should be left unturned to rig Buhari in.”
Obasanjo, a self-praised democrat, thinks that Nigerians should believe in God and stand strongly to oppose Buhari’s rigging. “Tough times do not last forever, but tough people invariably survive tough times,” he said.
What are your thoughts ?